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What makes your guitars awesome?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by ferrinbonn, Aug 1, 2020.

  1. ferrinbonn

    ferrinbonn Member

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    Lots of people on here have pretty incredible collections, but even for those who have just one or two, I'm sure we all have reasons why we love the guitars we have. So in the spirit of TGP positivity, here is my current collection of electrics and why I like each one.

    I'll go in order of when I got them.
    • 1996 American Standard Strat in Inca Silver: I bought this one new in 96 and have since modded it quite a bit. Duncan Alnico II Pro in the neck and a Duncan 59 in the bridge. I've wired it so that the rear pot is a blender for the neck/bridge pickups and the mini toggle partially splits the humbucker. It's just a really good sounding Strat. Played a half dozen similar Strats the day I bought it and this one just had the mojo and sounded better than all of the others both unplugged and plugged in. Even though it wasn't my favorite color and is kind of heavy I had to get it. With the pickup and wiring scheme it is really versatile and just sounds great no matter what I do with it.
    • 2000 Gibson Les Paul Classic in transparent amber: I bought this one new as well. This one is still my favorite. I keep it tuned to Eb. It's got Duncan Slash pickups, 500k pots, a Faber bridge and Gotoh locking tuners. It's pretty light for a LP and is brighter than many of them. Every time I hear it in a recording it just sounds better than everything else. LPs just have that sound!
    • 2012 PRS MC58: I had wanted a PRS for a really long time. I had a CE24 originally which was a great guitar but didn't do it for me tonally so I sold it. I decided I wanted a hardtail model and I couldn't pass this up when I found it a few years ago. I didn't get along with the 57/08s it came with so I swapped in a Jazz Bridge pickup in the neck position and a 59/Custom Hybrid in the bridge. I changed the tone knob to be a second volume knob so that I can control the volume of each pickup independently. This guitar just sings with an awesome sounding midrange. It's naturally darker than my other guitars but it's perfect with these pickups. Really light and comfortable to play as well and the top is incredible in my opinion.
    • 2018 Ibanez AZ Premium: I'd been wanting to try some sort of super strat style guitar and when these came out the specs were really appealing. Found a good deal on this one as a used but mint model. It's the guitar I've used most for gigs and rehearsals lately. It's really comfortable and ergonomic and is really light (under 7 lbs). Swapped out the bridge pickup for a 59/Custom Hybrid. The pickup wiring lets you get 10 different tones so it's great for being in a cover band. It's a perfect jack of all trades. The finish was a bit loud for my tastes when I got it but I've received complements from random people about how cool looking it is at every gig I've used it at.
    • 2010 Ibanez RG1420 Prestige: I just got this one. I decided I needed a locking trem in my life and I couldn't pass this one up. I was hoping to score a good condition MIJ model and this fit the bill. It plays incredibly well and is very comfortable. The ergonomics kind of spoil me as I get more used to the upper fret access and the huge frets. The neck is the polar opposite of my AZ (this Wizard neck is really thin and the AZ is pretty chunky). The only bad thing was that I HATED the bridge pickup. It had the same exact pickup in both the neck and bridge. It works pretty well in the neck but in the bridge it was super shrill. I popped in the Hyperion that was originally in the AZ and it works really well in this one. The trem took some getting used to but it's so much fun now and the tone is great for heavier rock and metal stuff.
    Here's the family picture.


    So what about yours? Take a few minutes to think about the good guitar stuff in your life!
     
    eigentone, PBGas, Borealis and 5 others like this.
  2. Rod

    Rod Tone is Paramount Supporting Member

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    This is what works for me. The Airlines and Rivoltas are hollow mahogany bodies.....the best of all worlds Red Rivolta has Wolftones mean and meaner. Black Airline has Toneriders Alnico 4’s... white and red Airlines have Duncan 59’s and Duncan Jazz pickups... the Creme Airline “Tele” is stock...sounds incredible ...Black Rivolta is stock.. Then there’s my Corsa Manaleshi. Chambered. Under 8 lbs with Zhangbucker Duane pickups.....Desert island guitar... and a 1 off Swaim LP made of Korina, with maple top and Zhangbuckers
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2020
  3. snow and steel

    snow and steel Supporting Member

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    What makes mine awesome for me?

    I pick out one that fit me and my hand/playing style exceptionally well. Then I tune them especially for me; This means changing the pickups, wiring, stainless steel frets, nut and tuners, and then giving them a really good set up.

    I'll be honest - people hand me guitars all the time and say "you've got to try this one out" or "You can play my X tonight on stage if you like"... and I usually play it for a few moments, and say something about certain guitars for certain tunes and that I appreciate the offer and hand it back [and I do genuinely appreciate the thought]. But it is rare that a guitar has been handed to me that really "wows" me. Guitars that "wow" me - wherever and whenever I find them - I make sure to snag it by hook or by crook. The point of all this is there really are some magickal instruments out there - but you're not going to find by playing 3. You might need to play 300... or 3000. When you find one though - well... WOW. And if you find one... NOW tune it for you, and literally no guitar will be better for you at ANY price.

    One last bit of advice;
    I've always maintained that when looking to purchase a Guitar don't get it in your head you are going to get 'x', 'y' or 'z' color or top. Go to the store and play every single one of that model that is at or below the price you can afford - much better yet; go to several stores - all the stores you can. If you play 10, 1 will be crap, 3 will be lack luster, 5 will be ok and one might be 'WOW!".

    Buy the "WOW!".

    Every Guitar I've ever purchased was in a color I didn't care for, but played, sounded and felt great.
     
    HERSCHEL, 3of5, makeitstop and 2 others like this.
  4. ferrinbonn

    ferrinbonn Member

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    So what's your wow guitar?
     
  5. rhinocaster

    rhinocaster Supporting Member

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    After 30 years, this is the guitar that I'd ask to do anything. It's the sonic equal of a Fender CS '69 Strat that I couldn't swing at the time and it plays even better than that guitar.

    I'm old, and suddenly I find myself done with gigging for a number of reasons. This is the guitar that I will spend the rest of my time with.

    [​IMG]
     
  6. Muz of Oz

    Muz of Oz Member

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    I don’t Earn money off my playing nor do I live near anyone with similar interests in music where I could be in a band, but over the years I’ve tried and owned a lot of guitars (mostly mid range) but after owning Epiphone, Gibson, Cort, Ibanez...I’ve settled on my favourite brand ESP. I own three guitars these days, a LTD Viper-256 with a custom Jailbreak pickup from an Aussie bloke in Melbourne, an LTD EC-1000 in green flame maple which is my main guitar, and an ESP Horizon NTii which is really nice to play too. All of these feel so natural to me and I love ESP necks.
    They’re not the best guitars I’ve ever seen people own, but they are awesome to me.

    https://ibb.co/bQTTcMj
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2020
    shane8 and Gig Young like this.
  7. Tootone

    Tootone Member

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    In a weird sense, what I like about them is that they are mine. Over the years, painstakingly set up and fixed to how I like them. No modifications, all stock (except Texas Special pups in one). Also they're the ones that made it home, after trying many "just like them" that didn't float my boat for whatever reason.
     
  8. snow and steel

    snow and steel Supporting Member

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    Well, I have two actually...

    The first one is my Favorite guitar, which is a fairly affordable Les Paul faded model. It was the one guitar that spoke to me more than any other when I went shopping for LP's - I was just browsing, really, looking to see what was out there and available, and not in a good situation to buy right that moment, but I had recently lost a guitar to a road accident and needed to replace it at some point. So I found this particular faded LP in the most boring flat black possible - but there was something about the neck and the way it seemed to just vibrate while playing - I came back to it over and over and I knew I had to have it. I couldn't quite swing it right then and there though, but my wife could tell I really wanted it and helped me get it and since then it has really taken on a new meaning.

    I play this guitar before any other - I practice with it every day for hours, and it is the first guitar I will grab if the client doesn't specifically ask for another guitar. Over time I've played it so much that I've worn out a lot of things - I changed the nut [twice], tuners, pickups, pots [twice], wiring [twice], caps, knobs, jack plate, jack and selector switch, frest [twice, now onto stainless] and I installed Schaller strap locks.

    I've played this one so much that I'm actually wearing through the finish in a several places. The back of the guitar is worn in [and in some places like near the edges it is worn completely through the finish down to bare wood], and the entire back of the neck has been worn in as well and is also wearing through in spots. Two large spots on the top have been worn down to the bare wood from my hands. I polished the spots a little with some virtuoso polish to keep the flaking down which has helped a good deal, but the spots still keep getting bigger. Its been through fret leveling several times and two fret replacements. I second time I had it re-fretted with stainless so that I won't have to do it again [I hope].

    What really makes the guitar take on a second meaning... Some time later after purchasing the guitar, we had a really terrible car accident and my wife actually died twice during a helicopter air lift. They were able to resuscitate her, but not without some consequences. She believes it has affected her looks, and really affected her Jewelry making - I disagree. I think it has affected her self esteem; A woman with a lot of scars feels like her beauty and self worth are shattered in many cases. I try my best to keep her spirits up, and flog myself for wondering if I hadn't chosen to go a different way that day or done our errands in a different order if things wouldn't have been different. I love her more than anything in the world, and thankfully we've stood together and our marriage is stronger than ever after having gone through that.

    So I had her name inscribed on the truss rod cover, and the pickup selector switch now reads "sugar" and "spice".

    Every time I play this guitar it is always a reminder of what our shared life is, good and bad, happy and sad, and it reminds me that she is always with me, even when we are apart.

    So that is the story of my #1. Playing certain songs on it actually do affect me once in a while. I intend to play it "till the wheels come off" as they say... or be buried with it, which ever comes first. I'm doing a damn good job so far.

    [​IMG]

    The second one is a '18 SG Standard. It is the by far the easiest playing, best sounding and most stable SG I've ever come across and I've played quite a few - up to this point I figured I just disliked the model as I hadn't found one I even remotely liked, but this one made a believer out of me. It's light enough to play for 4 hours straight [and I have], and has an action so ridiculously low and easy to play its almost like thinking about playing than actually playing. It's pretty impressive. Whenever I don't take #1, I take this one.

    [​IMG]


    I've got guitars that are more expensive that are really great guitars. Some were great buys, some I bought for certain tuning or certain sets [like playing a flying V for the Lonnie Mack set],and I've got some backups. I've got several custom shop pieces as well, but most of them are "really good guitars" that I bought as tools... and some of them are truly great, no doubt about it. But If I was only going to buy one guitar - I'd go searching for the "Wow"... and it might take months to find one... but when you do, you'll know.

    To put it another way - if my house was burning, and I had got the wife and the cat out of the house, and I thought I could run back in one more time... Well, I've got two hands one one trip and the wife and cat are safe so...; it would surely be those two guitars I grabbed before almost anything else.

    Hope that helps!~
     
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  9. dazco

    dazco Member

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    No guitar is awesome in and of itself. It's the owner that makes it awesome when he/she and the guitar just happen to be a perfect match. I have one guitar at the moment that feels that way to me. The others are great and i enjoy them. But that one just has a certain mojo in all respects that i am certain would not make it special to everyone that picks it up. But to me it IS special and i can't really even explain why. So it's very much like pickups....the very same one can sound crappy in one guitar and great in another. it's all about that perfect match.
     
  10. MR.K

    MR.K Member

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    I've searched over the years (a lot of years) for the one amp and guitar that would be the Swiss Army Knife of rigs. I've gotten close. Close enough that I hung on to a Telecaster and a Fender tweed for decades.
    My musical tastes changed some over the years. As I got older I thought I'd look around for one last guitar.
    A '58 Gibson Memphis es335 found it's way into my hands in 2016.
    What makes my guitar awesome? The wide tonal pallet of a tweed Deluxe teamed up with the 335's volume/tone adjustments make it a formidable combination.
     
  11. TVvoodoo

    TVvoodoo Mad Strappier

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    [​IMG]
    :);):D
    For me it's customization and personalization to make it truly "my own" and different from the rest.
     
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  12. 8len8

    8len8 Supporting Member

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    Here are the main two in my herd right now. All my others (LP, PRS, Carvin, G&L) are nice, but have nothing special about them.

    - 2006 Les Paul Standard: lightweight, thin neck, and a nice hollow tone with thump.

    - Epiphone Tak Matsumoto: great upper fret access, nice shape, and a nice midrange growl to the tone.
     
  13. VintagePlayerStrat

    VintagePlayerStrat Supporting Member

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    Sometimes I play them half way decent.
     
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  14. Gig Young

    Gig Young ¡Vote Twice On Nov. 4! Gold Supporting Member

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    - played in person for awhile (strat and Tele). Knew they had "it" (for my ears!).

    No mods other than L&C on the T, and
    the neck pocket shaved down on the S to lower break angle height.

    Have great Fralin noiseless pickups for the T, but it's been 2 months and haven't had it installed. The pickups in it now do sound good and rich.

    Got a Vintage Hot Fralin bridge pup for the S in late April.
    Haha, that's still on the shelf!
     
  15. Zexcoil

    Zexcoil Vendor

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    The pickups...
     
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  16. Gig Young

    Gig Young ¡Vote Twice On Nov. 4! Gold Supporting Member

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    TESTIFY!
     
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  17. makeitstop

    makeitstop Member

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    I have a lot of guitars, and I consider them all to be pretty awesome for different reasons.

    A few of them are guitars I've wanted to own since I was a kid. For the longest time I couldn't afford to buy them, now I can.

    Some are gifts from my wife and friends, and those are awesome because someone actually thought enough of me to give me a guitar.

    I've built a few, and those are awesome because I can say 'I built this.'

    And a few are awesome because they're just different from the usual Gibsons and Fenders and PRSs that everyone else has.

    My collection would probably get laughed at by serious collectors, but I look at the selection of vintage, boutique, offbeat and cheap guitars I've got and I'm happy to have every one of them.
     
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  18. TubeStack

    TubeStack Supporting Member

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    Me.

    I make my guitars awesome.
     
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  19. KONTAKTMOI

    KONTAKTMOI Supporting Member

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    THE TONE......... once I have purchased the guitar.. it's ALL that matters!!
     
  20. mjross

    mjross Member

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    What makes my guitars awesome is the fact that I hand picked every one of them (except for the gifts). That makes them all special in their own way. Some for play, some just because! Most guitars can be awesome in the hands of the right person.
     

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